So… every year at St. Patrick’s day the negative Pagans start complaining about racist Irish holidays, poor innocent snakes, and how evil St. Patrick burned and killed all the innocent witches in Ireland. I need to coin a term for these people… you know, the ones who always seem to be angry at something or everything. Every time you try to have fun or celebrate life, they suck the air out of the room with hostility and anger about some aspect of history that is supposedly so relevant to the modern day celebration of a holiday that you are supposed to feel bad about wanting to have a little fun.
How dare you have fun! Don’t you know the REAL history of this holiday???
o.O Actually, I do.
It seems to me that the only people that perpetuate the negativity are the ones claiming to be against the negativity. To battle this negativity they have to constantly bring it back up. As a descendant of the Irish, and a grandson of Irish grandparents I am simply tired of seeing the Irish compared to drunken idiots only by those claiming to be champions of Irish culture. I am tired of seeing St. Patrick’s Day cast in a negative light as if those who celebrate it are dishonoring the poor snakes chased out of Ireland, or the Pagan culture that was supposedly violently crushed over a thousand years ago.
Seriously folks, read some real history. The Irish have always been spiritual, they are spiritual, and always will be spiritual. Catholic or Druid, there is a connection to the divine. The Christian conversion of Ireland happened gradually and was embraced by a people who welcomed a new way to spiritually celebrate while they incorporated their old Pagan ways into that new system. Look into Celtic Christianity. It is the Irish in my blood that has sent me on a lifelong spiritual quest that eventually led me to Druidry.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are some terrible things that happened in the course of human history. But we study those things and we learn from them. We don’t drudge them up whenever it is time to celebrate someone’s cultural heritage. Imagine if every time we celebrated a Pagan holiday someone started screaming about all of the evils that Pagan cultures have committed over the years. Slavery. Genocide. Misogyny. Oppression. You can find it. The Pagan cultures throughout history have been just as good or bad as the rest.
Again, learn some real history. Don’t be prejudiced in favor of your own way of thinking, that is a trap. There is good and bad in the entire human race regardless of religion or race… open your mind a little and think for yourself.
Back to that real history… Christians have historically celebrated on Pagan holidays, and now Pagans can begin celebrating on what was historically Christian holidays. Human spirituality is fundamentally about celebration,
and so the celebration of one religious system is very easily ported to another religious system. On St. Patrick’s day, honor The Dagda, Lugh, or Manannan. Take that shit back! Don’t just complain about history! Change the course of the future!
If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, by all means please do so. And be proud of it. It ins’t racist and it isn’t anti-Pagan. It is fun and celebratory… the pop culture references of leprechauns and shamrocks are silly and whimsical. There will always be those who try to drag us through the mud… have a glass of ale and laugh at them in their misery. That is what my grandmother taught me about the Irish spirit. It is about finding the bright side in any given situation, and finding the good in people even when it take a little extra effort to find it. It is about celebrating life to the last breath. She did, and she passed that spirit on to me. St. Patrick’s Day is about drinking green beer on one day a year, to celebrate the Irish cultural contribution to the world, and the Irish spirit to persevere and prevail with a skip in our step and a song in our hearts. That spirit is in my blood…
Happy St. Patrick’s Day